The alarm pounds into your sleeping brain at 5am and you instantly remember the promise you made to yourself to go for a run. Your motivation is your own - it could be to improve your overall health, train for an upcoming race, living longer to be a pain in the butt for your children or whatever. Perhaps you're in your own bed or a swanky hotel somewhere. Still, the running shoes are right next to you, calling you, pleading with you, but all you can think about is your packed schedule for the day with every hour stacked- meetings, calls, lunch and an overwhelming tasks list. Being an executive isn't always easy but one common denominator of the most successful people in the world is that they wake up early and exercise. Pro Tip: read Extreme Ownership.
Although I'm an executive now I spent almost twenty years competing in running, cycling, Ironman and all distance triathlons in various parts of the world. I was not the best but I did snag a few wins and podiums. More importantly, I've coached endurance athletes of every level for over 22 years and this includes hundreds of amateur athletes who are hard working executives. I've found that many in my network work hard to balance their love for running, cycling or tri with their daily work so I thought I'd share a few of my best tips for the executive runner.
*Search your LinkedIn network or rolodex for contacts in the location you're going whom you might be able to meet up for a run. It's a less stuffy way to meet and in a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
1. If you're traveling you can stuff your run shoes with running shorts, tops, energy gels and even swimsuit and goggles
2. Stick a twenty dollar bill under the insole of your shoe in case you need to hail a taxi or buy some food
3. It's proven that your brain functions better with more blood flow during exercise. If you run with your phone use the record feature to record ideas that come to mind or send yourself an email with your thoughts
4. Search running maps to load into your phone and follow instructions from the navigation site to stay on route
5. Be sure to have a visor, hat and sunglasses with you. Sunglasses can fit in your running shoe as well to be protected
6. If you're on a treadmill be sure to set the incline to 1% which is used to offset the belt moving your feet more than the real road
7. Always have an energy gel on you
8. Ask the front desk or concierge if they have a running map or can offer tips for routes to follow. Ask about any areas to stay away from. You'll be surprised how many hotels have running maps printed
9. Perfect running form: Chin parallel to the ground; chest up and out; 90 degree elbow bend; hands never come higher than breast line or cross over mid line of body; aim for 90-100 steps per minute per foot; body has 6-10 degree lean forward-never backward
10. If you're going to think, you might as well think positively